International Signing Period Preview: New Rules Shouldn’t Hurt Pirates

There has been a lot of talk about how the new draft rules hurt the Pittsburgh Pirates, who spent more than any team from 2008-2011. The Pirates have also upped their spending on the international market, with a budget of $3 M a year. They’ve gone over budget the last two years, spending a little over $9 M, which ranks fifth in baseball in that time frame. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement limits teams to spending $2.9 M...

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Surveying the National League – Part 2 of 2

Checking out the strengths and weaknesses of the NL playoff contenders.

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Heredia Convinces Manager to Leave Him In During Impressive Start

The State College Spikes fell flat in Luis Heredia’s second start in the New York-Penn League Tuesday in Batavia, N.Y. The Spikes fell to 6-3, while Batavia improved to 4-5. State College made some miscues in the field that spiraled into runs for Batavia, allowing the Muckdogs to secure a 3-1 win at Dwyer Stadium. It was the second game of a three-game set. Luis Heredia The 6-foot-6 Mexican right-hander, just 17 years-old,...

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With Guidance From Veterans, McDonald Evolving into Ace

After James McDonald tossed his first career complete game his last trip to the mound on Thursday at PNC Park, he explained what was the biggest key for him in his impressive 2012 season. The reason? Guidance from veterans Rod Barajas and A.J. Burnett. “Those guys influence me in a lot of ways,” McDonald explained. “Now, I expect seven innings every time. Before I didn’t even think about that. Just that mentality...

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Heredia’s Prospect Status Could Soar With More Outings Like Tonight

Luis Heredia made his much anticipated 2012 debut tonight for the State College Spikes. The assignment to the New York Penn League was an aggressive one. Heredia went up against a lineup that was made up of 19 to 22 year old hitters. Four of the hitters were either 21 or 22 years old. Even the four 19 year olds in the lineup had two years on the right-hander. Heredia didn’t look like a 17 year old tonight. He cruised through the...

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Gerrit Cole Shows Why He’s the Top Prospect in Double-A Debut

For the last month, Pirates fans have been asking the same question: when will Gerrit Cole get promoted to Double-A? Last week the Pirates announced the move, and tonight Cole made that long-awaited debut. And he didn’t disappoint. The first overall pick in the 2011 draft showed why he’s the number one prospect in the Pirates’ system tonight. He gave up just two runs on five hits in five innings, striking out six and...

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